The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus)

The Mark of Athena - Rick Riordan For more reviews, see: Fantasy is More Fun Though I wouldn't recommend the audio version of this book - the narration took me a while to get past - the book is a lot of fun. Although the Official Synopsis makes it sound like the book centers around Annabeth, her story is really only a very small part of it. The central idea of this story seems, at least to me, to uniting Roman and Greek forces: a seemingly impossible task. The Romans: Leo and Hazel and the Greeks: Annabeth, Piper, and Leo don't trust each other; it's only their relationships with Percy and Jason, who've both grown close to both the Roman and Greek camps in the first two books of the series that hold the two groups together. This is also a book about growing up - as so many Young Adult novels are. The characters are growing up and learning about themselves, trying out their abilities, exploring their relationships, and challenging their limits. At the same time, the stories are getting a bit old. After the Percy Jackson series and the first two books of the Heroes of Olympus, the demigods challenges are all starting to sound familiar. Yes, technically they are facing new evils and getting out of them in new ways - but ultimately there's a familiar Greek/Roman bad guy does something and they overcome - using their abilities, their parental connections, and friends. The modern twist to ancient myths remains fun, but not as new and inventive as they once seemed. All said, the adventures of Percy, Annabeth, Leo, Jason, Piper, Frank, and Hazel are doused in Riordian's typical ridiculousness that leaves you laughing. As usual, he leaves you eager for the next installment - this time with one hell of a cliff hanger.